(Sunshine Squash in the glass container, Butternut waiting to be baked, and Sweet Potatoes up top)
If you have a little one who is getting ready for baby food anywhere in the near future and you are thinking of making your own, now is the time! If you act quickly you can still get the tail end of some of summers bounty, and all the yummy things of fall to preserve for your babe.
My kids practically lived off of squash during their early months. Our newest baby is still a couple months from her first bites, but I realized that if we want to feed her the same types of things we need to get moving. We love making our own baby food because it is fresher, cheaper, and closer in taste to the real fruits and veggies than the jarred foods. I think this is important because they won’t have any rude surprises when you discontinue the Gerber and move on to the real stuff at the dinner table. I also tend to believe that home made baby food cooked just enough and then frozen is likely to hold more of its nutrients than the stuff that sits on the shelf.
When the twins were little we delayed offering things like rice cereal (some people even say to skip this altogether) and fruits and veggies for a bit. By the time we introduced them they could have almost had soft cubes. Even though they were soon ready for soft cubes and nibbles, I loved having the convenience of having the purees on hand. They were so great to add to many other things to pump up the nutritional quality. We frequently added purees to plain yogurt (whole yogurt when they were little for the fat) and oatmeal. Don’t feel like you have to make a huge variety of purees… just a few will do. You can soon supplement with whatever fruits and veggies you are feeding your family. You can even buy a few jars at the store if you feel like you are lacking in variety. We tired to start with things that were not too sweet so that they would not turn their nose up at vegetables later.
The Salem farmers markets only run through the end of the month, but after that you should still be able to find some organic produce in season at the grocery stores.
Bake or steam, mash or food process, and freeze!